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FITARA - Data Center Consolidation Deadline Could Be Pushed Back

Posted by RJ Tee on Apr 3, 2017 11:11:30 AM

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Since 2014, federal data centers have been optimizing their facilities under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a money-saving initiative imposed by the federal government that will force certain data centers to close by 2018.

As of right now, the project is moving much too slow. According to MeriTalk, the most recent FITARA scorecard — released on Dec. 6 — shows that federal data centers are far behind where they need to be in their optimization efforts.

How poorly is the project progressing? Twelve out of 24 graded scores generated a C or worse for their efforts. At this pace, it’s unlikely that the majority will meet their goals by 2018.

Fortunately, Uncle Sam is feeling a bit generous right now and may extend the deadline beyond 2018. But he’s not happy about it.

Director of IT issues for the Government Accountability Office Dave Powner recently sounded off about the pace of the project.

 “2018 probably isn’t enough time to get this done. A key recommendation moving forward is extending the sunset provision in FITARA,” Powner stated. “The question is how long to extend it. If an agency really can’t optimize by 2020, should they be in the business of managing a data center? They need to ask themselves that. If agencies can’t operate these things, they need to think long and hard about getting out of the business.”

So, why are federal agencies having such a hard time consolidating their facilities? According to Powner, a major reason is that only a few agencies have tools for server utilization. Right now, there are 4,400 remaining data centers and just 1200 have server utilization tools.

Server Technology is an obvious choice for federal data centers in need of energy utilization tools.

First and foremost, Server Technology’s products are Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliant, meaning they are made here in the U.S. So federal agencies will have no problem in using Server Technology as a vendor. And plus, since products are made domestically Server Technology can offer fast shipment times for products and accessories. Most products ship between three and 10 days.

The products that can help federal data centers the most are Server Technology’s Web-based power management console, the Sentry Power Manager (SPM), as well as Server Technology’s intelligent power distribution units (PDUs). Federal data center administrators can use these products to gain a clear understanding of power usage and server utilization at the cabinet, zone and location levels.

It should also be noted that Server Technology offers a wide range of products under the umbrella of intelligent PDUs. There is even a “Build Your Own PDU” feature, for custom builds with up to 42 C13 outlets.

To learn more about how Server Technology’s power management solutions for government agencies, click here.

Topics: federal government, government data center, fitara

Federal Data Centers: Use Switched POPS PDUs to Save Money

Posted by RJ Tee on Mar 6, 2017 10:50:20 AM

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A new bill is being considered in Washington, D.C. that would directly impact federal data centers.

According to The Stack, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (HR 306), which would require every federal agency to provide a detailed report outlining the exact steps that are being taken to improve energy efficiency in their data center and computing environments. 

These reports would then be compiled by the Secretary and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a larger report on the overall impact of cloud computing and virtualization, mobile devices, social media and data center power consumption among federal agencies. This report would include previous energy usage projections from between 2008 and 2015.

“As the nation’s largest energy user, landowner, and employer, the federal government should lead by example to improve the energy efficiency of its technology equipment and data centres,” stated representative Anna Eschoo (D-CA), who co-sponsored the bill along with Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). “This legislation will reduce the federal government’s energy use, save taxpayer dollars, and set the standard for the private sector.”

As of right now, the bill is waiting for a Senate vote and so it remains to be seen how it will play out. The fact that it’s a bipartisan bill, however, shows just how important the issue is to the federal government; Even in these trying political times, House Democrats and Republicans are working together to drive energy reform, in hopes of reducing unnecessary computing expenses and energy waste by federal entities.

Regardless of whether the new bill gets signed into law, federal data center administrators still have two other acts to consider: the Federal Data Center Consolidation Act (which has saved almost $3 billion to date) and the Data Center Optimization Initiative. So pressure is coming from all sides to streamline operations and pinch pennies. Over the next several years, the federal government hopes to consolidate or close many of its data centers.

Immediate action should therefore be taken by federal IT administrators to reduce unnecessary energy waste. Being proactive now may either delay, or prevent, the closing of a federal data center. Now is not the time to sit back and try to fly under the radar, but to take action.

Server Technology offers multiple solutions that federal data centers can use to reduce energy waste, like Switched Per Outlet Power Sensing power distribution units (Switched POPS PDUs), with highly accurate outlet-level power monitoring and management features.

Server Technology's PDU's are TAA compliant, and have been used by numerous federal agencies including the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Energy, NASA, ARMY, NAVY and the National Institutes of Health.

 

Discover Server Technology's Switched POPS PDUs

Topics: green data center, federal government, government data center, Switched POPS

Downtime Is a Big Problem, According to Fed IT Workers

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Apr 9, 2015 7:00:00 AM

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A total of 300 federal IT workers recently took the time to grade their departments’ downtime management strategies in a survey conducted by Meritalk, as was reported in a Financial Times article.

The results of the survey were not pretty, indicating that downtime is one of the biggest cyber issues facing the federal government in 2015.

Some 36 percent of federal IT professionals gave their IT departments a grade of “C,” meaning average to below average, for downtime management performance. Additionally, just 29 percent of federal IT professionals believe that their IT department is fully aware of the impact that downtime can have on their agency’s overall performance.

Furthermore, about half of those surveyed indicated that their data center lacks the necessary computational power, data storage and personnel needed to ensure optimal efficiency.

This study is alarming given the fact that the transmission of real-time information is critical for facilitating a wide range of important federal tasks. These tasks range from safety inspections to healthcare. Without the help of a reliable network and a fully optimized data center, many workers are finding it difficult to complete important tasks.

What can be done to rectify the federal government’s data center woes? Real-time data center power monitoring, as well as environmental monitoring, is an essential technology that would help ensure the safety and stability of core government networks, in regard to power. Federal IT professionals require real-time access to energy consumption metrics provided by this technology in order to prevent system overloading, network crashes and capacity shortages. With such a technology, the federal government could gain critical oversight into real-time power consumption as well as environmental data. 

Learn how to improve your uptime

Topics: Data Center, environmental monitoring, power monitoring, downtime, federal government